Facebook’s recent update to all its Fan pages is something more that just an ordinary scheduled cosmetic change. It actually reflects the company’s new approach to brand strategy presented at the recent Facebook Marketing Conference. The timeline is nothing other than the story your brand has the opportunity to tell to your audience.
And whether customers listen and respond depends entirely on the talents of the storyteller.
It’s no different in case of email. If you don’t have a good story to tell, people won’t listen. So right from the subject line – your message needs to shout out loud that it’s got a great relevant story to tell. Why? Here’s a bunch of reasons:
1. Stories give the audience a sense of connection and, in the longer term, help them identify with your brand.
2. A story readers can identify with fuels conversation and connectedness.
3. By sharing stories rather than pitching deals, you reinforce that your relationship with your customers is about offering value in your products, value that will help them reach new heights.
Storytelling lessons from successful brands
Below you’ll find tips on how to make your story a legend:
1. Be personal – talk about how you spared no efforts to deliver the best value.
Or how you embarrass yourself in the public.
Let people know you – show them that you’re the same: like the same things, laugh the same way.
2. Create a character/hero that exemplifies your audience.
It’s easy for female recipients to see themselves in the Girl on a Budget and her adventures in the world of Main Street labels.
3. Include details. They make the story unforgettable.
And sometimes they visualize what’s unseen. Literally.
4. Tell a customer story.
It gives your subscribers someone they can identify with immediately.
5. Tell the product or company story.
It’s the first step to creating your brand identity.
It can be the perfect way to prove that you spare no efforts to deliver value.
6. Inspire curiosity by including an element of mystery.
7. Surprise them by going against their expectations.
Encourage personal connotations and then disperse them, by giving your own explanation.
8. Use images as visual hooks.
The theme of a stylized cow mascot illustrating every message creates the sense of continuity: a story that is being told in every email, episode by episode. And it is a great incentive to open every subsequent email from you.
9. Reveal your story bit by bit.
Remember Scheherezade the legendary queen and the storyteller of One Thousand And One Nights? Always leave your audience with the sense of wanting more. Never say the final word. You’ll always be able to follow up with new ideas and still maintain integrity and continuity. Use an autoresponder series to deliver the story bit-by-bit automatically.
10. Don’t forget to enable quick sharing – a story is meant to be told and retold. This way it starts to live a life of its own and finally becomes a legend.
So are you ready to turn your story into a legend? If you have some thoughts about how to connect with your customers, or simply have a great story to tell, share it with us.